Mossey River Honour Roll Update

The following names have been added to the Mossey River Honour Roll:

  • James Gorden Hill, Ethelbert,
  • John Ross Hill, Ethelbert,
  • Leslie Lintick, Sifton,
  • Sturlaugur Louie Crawford, Winnipegosis,
  • John Henry Denby, Winnipegosis,
  • Charles Seaton Marcroft, Winnipegosis,
  • Arthur Simpson Martin, Winnipegosis,
  • George Elmer Martin, Winnipegosis,
  • Donald Sanderson, Winnipegosis,
  • Thomas Saunders, Winnipegosis.

The stats are as follows:

WWI Honour Roll Stats
Community Old Number New Number
Ethelbert 9 11
Fishing River 1 1
Fork River 32 32
Oak Brae 1 1
Sifton 29 30
Waterhen 2 2
Winnipegosis 109 116
Valley River 5 5

I’ve continued to do research on the 8 individuals from surrounding areas but have not had much luck. I believe I’ve located Cornelius Wiebe and family living in Winnipegosis but Cornelius was much too old to have served and it does not look like his sons served either. I may have also found Pat Klines living in Winnipegosis with his family but haven’t had any luck locating papers for either man.

I have additional research done for WWII records but because of privacy and access laws it makes it more difficult to find and identify those who served. In the near future I will go in and make the necessary changes to the current list.

Today in the Dauphin Herald – January 22, 1920

Ethelbert

We have been asked to publish a copy of telegram sent to the Acting Prime Minister at Ottawa by the Ruthenians of this vicinity. It is herewith:
“Canadians of Ukrainian descent, in mass meeting assembled at Ethelbert, unanimously protest against the brutal invasion of Ukrainian East Galicia by imperialistic Poland, against the decision of Peace conference of July 11th, sanctioning the invasion, and against the decision of Supreme Council of November 20th awarding to Polish invaders a mandate over Ukrainian East Galicia for twenty five years. We appeal through the Canadian Government to the Government of Great Britain and other allied governments and people to right great wrong done to four million Ukrainians of East Galicia. We urge governments to have polish invading armies withdrawn from Ukrainian East Galicia to have that territory occupied by inter-allied armies, and to compel Poland to make reparation for destruction of Ukrainian villages and towns, and to indemnify families of civilians murdered by Polish soldiery or robbed by Polish officials. We appeal to governments to settle East Galician question in accordance with wish of people concerned. We request the Canadian Government to convey this our appeal to the government of Great Britain and to British plenipotentiaries at Paris.”
The above protest shows clearly where the root of wrong is and what the Ukrainians demand.

Fork River

The first annual Grain Growers’ Masquerade Ball, which took place Friday evening, the 16th of January, was a huge success and the big event of the New Year. The costumes were varied and created a pretty color scheme. There were six prizes awarded. Miss Gertrude Cooper as a Japanese lady, and Mr. D. Briggs, as a soldier, were awarded the prize for the best dancers. Mrs. Charles Bailey, representing a Gypsy fortune teller, was awarded first prize for best lady’s costume; Miss Viola Rowe, representing a country maid with her quaint hat, dress and crook was awarded second prize. Dr. A.J. Little, representing a colored dude was awarded first prize for best gentleman’s costume. Mr. Milton Cooper as Pierrot, was awarded second prize. The prize for best comic costume was awarded to Mr. Norman Shannon, who represented a tramp. The judges were Mrs. T.B. Venables, Mrs. A.J. Little and Mr. Williamson. After the judging and unmasking at midnight refreshments were served.
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Rawson are moving to Winnipegosis.
Fork River Literary and Debating Society met at the home of Mrs. A.J. Little, Saturday evening last to discuss the next debate, which will be held Wednesday evening, Feb. 4.
Fork River Women’s Institute met at Mrs. Tuck’s Saturday afternoon for the election of officers and to appoint directors for Agricultural Society. Mrs. A.J. Little was elected Secretary to succeed Mrs. Ina Briggs, Mrs. T.B. Venables and Mrs. McEachern were elected directors.
Mr. Fleming Wilson, Mr. T.B. Venables, Mr. Duncan Briggs, delegates to the Grain Growers’ convention held at Brandon, gave their reports on Tuesday evening’s meeting.

Winnipegois

The Tennis Club is arranging to hold a masquerade ball on Friday, Feb, 18th. A ball is always popular and a masquerade ball doubly so. This dance promises to be the event of the season.
The fish catch has been exceptionally good this winter. The December catch was the largest in the history of the late. Many of the fishermen will return from the north early next month.

Nuts and their Values

This is the third article in January of the School for Housewives 1910 series published on January 16, 1910, and touches on the benefits of eating raw nuts but also keeping in mind that nuts are not for everyone.

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of the The Buffalo Sunday Morning News.

Nuts and their Values

I READ a charming book last summer, written by two bright Scotch women—the Findlater sisters—in which an eccentric dietitian is called “a fruitarian.” Following their example, I coin a word to classify writers and lecturers who have come to the front within the last decade with learned expositions of the value of nuts as man’s daily food. Certain of our nutarian schools maintain that the vaunted vegetable product might be adopted as a substitute for meat with a great advantage to our race. It occupies a conspicuous place upon the menu of the vegetarian restaurant. Knowing this, I repaired to a fashionable resort of this character in anticipation of my talk upon nuts and their values. The restaurant upon a popular thoroughfare, is handsome and well appointed in every particular. We, two women of robust appetites, ordered and partook of a four-course luncheon.

1. Bean soup maigre. 2. Protose cutlets and fried French potatoes for one and imitation hamburger steak and stewed celery for the other. 3. Chestnut pudding with whipped cream. 4. Nuts, figs and grapes. Tea and coffee were not to be had, and neither of us liked milk as a beverage.

The waitress was a comely, well-mannered American girl, and in paying the bill my companion put a direct question:

To the Point.

“Frankly, now don’t you long occasionally for a steak or chop, a leg of chicken or a slice of rare roast beef?”

The answer was direct and respectful. The girl saw nothing humorous in the customer’s query.

“Oh, yes! but we eat all the meat we want on Sunday. The restaurant is not open then.”

“I am glad she gets meat one day in the week,” observed my friend, gravely, when we were in the street. “For myself, I confess to an unsatisfied sensation. I suppose my taste has been depraved by indulgence in the fleshpots from youth up.”

The best thing on the menu, according to our fancy, was the bean soup. Milk and butter made it tolerably savory. If we flattered ourselves that we could have made a more palatable soup maigre by the addition of crème, onion juice and minced parsley, that was a matter of opinion. We were in no doubt as to the composition of protose cutlets and imitation hamburger steaks. Both were minced or ground nuts moulded into different shapes, and we could detect no difference in the taste. “Protose” figured largely upon the printed menu, always as a substitute for meat.

I talked the other day with an enthusiastic nutarian, who won a national reputation in says past as a “demonstration lecturer” upon dietetics and cookery. She sees, with the eye of confident faith in the justice of her cause, the approach of the day when nuts will crowd beef to the wall and bring down the price of poultry to a figure that will prohibit the raising of fowls for the table.

When Eaten Raw.

I have but one common-sensible argument in opposition to their sweeping theories. It is an indubitable fact that raw nuts are, with many human creatures, unwholesome to such a degree that parents forbid children to indulge freely in them, and doctors cut them out from dietaries. Just as some of us are poisoned by fish when others eating of the selfsame dish are unharmed; and apples, which are to one the staff of life and assurance of longevity, are absolutely indigestible to other members of the family. I contend, moreover, that nuts, composed as they are largely of oils, are more likely to disagree with delicate stomachs than meat, fish or eggs, for which they are offered as a substitute.

Mothers will bear me witness that, as one wrote to us a while ago, peanuts, hickory nuts and the coarser oleaginous Brazil nut are provocative of intestinal worms (ascarides). Likewise, that some people cannot eat raw nuts for a few successive days without paying the penalty of the rich diet in the appearance of “fever blisters” upon the lips or canker sores in the mouth. A yet more common consequence of munching nuts in season and out is constipation. So well established is the fact that nuts are preferable that physicians usually forbid them to patients suffering with colds and coughs.

Do not misunderstand the drift of this discussion of the food values and detrimental qualities of the proposed substitute for flesh-foods to mean condemnation of a delicious and useful article of diet. As will be seen presently, nuts, properly treated and eaten in moderation (always by those with whose gastronomic idiosyncrasies they are not at war), should have the respectful consideration of our housemother and take rank among choice desserts and vegetables. I have spoken of the heavy oils that enter into their composition. These may be measurably corrected and their evils neutralized by eating them with salt, with sugar and with fruit. The acid of the latter and that found in sugar effect a chemical change in the oil that renders it digestible. The alkali of the salt acts upon oil in different sort, but to the same effect.

General recognition of this gastronomic rule is evident in the custom of serving nut and raisins, walnuts and wine, and candied nuts with the dessert, and offering salt with the grosser black walnuts and Brazil nuts. A majolica nut dish which was given to me almost 40 years ago has dainty salt cellars on each side of the leaf-shaped salvers.

In brief, eat your nuts as a part of regular meals, and do not make them as did the unquiet old woman of “Mrs. Goose’s Melodies” with her “vic and drink.”

The chief of your diet.

And do not insist that they are a perfect food for any of your fellow mortals. That they are not!

Spanish Chestnuts.

The smaller native chestnut of our American woods may equal in flavor and in nutritive qualities the imported from France and Italy than from Spain. When boiled and shelled, it may be used for stuffing fowls and other purposes with satisfactory results. That is, after the said results are reached. Few cooks have time and patience to shell and skin the nuts after boiling them and then run them through the vegetable press. They are toothsome enough when all is done. If Spanish chestnuts are not to be had, and native nuts are fine and abundant, and winter days and evening are not filled with work, the housemother may introduce pleasing variety into her bills of fare by preparing her nuts according to directions given for imported varieties.

In any case the home-grown article is good when boiled in salted water, drained, and while hot, buttered lightly, preparatory to removing outer shells and the bitter brown membrane enwrapping the sweet kernels. Boiled chestnuts are far more wholesome than raw.

Stewed Spanish Chestnuts.

Boil and strip off shells and skins. They should be well done and cooked in water, slightly salted. Arrange in a hot dish and butter lightly. Cover and keep hot over boiling water, until five minutes before serving, then cover with a good brown gravy, and set over the fire for the gravy to soak into the nuts.

This is a delicious accompaniment to roast turkey. In this case use a cupful of the gravy made with the fowl to make the nuts savory.

Chestnut Stuffing for Poultry.

Boil, shell and skin the nuts and run through a sieve or a vegetable press. Season with salt and pepper. Mash into a paste and beat light while hot with a great spoonful of butter. Some persons like the addition of a handful of very fine crumbs. It makes the stuffing less heavy than when the chestnuts are used alone.

Chestnut Croquettes.

Prepare as directed in the last recipe, beat in a large spoonful of butter, a tablespoonful of very fine, dry crumbs; salt and pepper; a dozen drops of lemon juice and just a pinch of ground cinnamon. Let the past get cold, form into small egg-shaped balls, roll in egg, then in cracker crumbs. Set on the ice for two hours before frying in deep fat.

Chestnut Pudding.
(To be eaten with meat.)

Prepare as already directed by boiling, peeling and mashing or running through the press. To a cupful of the mashed chestnuts allow four eggs, two tablespoonfuls of fine crumbs, a tablespoonful of melted butter, two cupfuls of milk, a tablespoonful of sugar and salt and paprika to taste. Beat the yolks light, stir into the mashed nuts, then beat in the other ingredients; the stiffened whites of the eggs last of all. Bake, covered, in a quick oven. It should puff high and lightly. Uncover, brown and serve at once before it falls.

Chestnut Trifle.

Boil, shell and peel. Run through the vegetable press into a glass bowl or dish, forming a light heap in the middle of the dish. As you do this sprinkle the layers with powdered sugar. When you have a pyramid and all the nuts are used up, heap sweetened whipped cream around the base and serve with each portion of the trifle.

Chestnut Salad.

Boil in salted water, shell and skin, break into halves and when cold let them be heaped upon leaves of crisp lettuce in a chilled dish. Pour over all a good French dressing. This is a simple and excellent salad.

Marion Harland

OTHER ARTICLES ALSO PUBLISHED…
Family Meals for a Week
The Housemothers’ Exchange

The Dignity of Left Overs

This is the second article in January of the School for Housewives 1910 series published on January 9, 1910, and touches on leftovers.

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of the The Buffalo Sunday Morning News.

The Dignity of Left Overs

IN imagination I see the lifted eyebrows and dainty tilt of the nose with which the young housemother reads the title.

Left-overs are, to her apprehension, but makeshifts, even when cleverly disguised and at their best. The fine disdain of our little matron is an inheritance.

When I was but 12 years old I pricked up my ears to catch the lowered voices in which a coterie of village gossips were discussing the parsimonious ways of the richest woman in the country. They were not ill-natured, but it was a rural neighborhood, and in such, then as now, the domestic doings of acquaintances supplied food for thought and speech.

“Do you know,” murmured the gossip-in-chief, glancing from her seat on the porch to my demure self bent over my atlas and geography just beyond the circle, “that when she has Brunswick stew for dinner what is left over is put upon the ice and warmed up next day?”

The chorus of amazed disapprobation fixed the comment in my mind.

I took an early opportunity of asking my mother is Brunswick stew were fit to eat the second day.

“Like other stews and like soups, it is better,” was the unhesitating rejoinder.

And when I told her what I had overheard she laughed.

“What is left over is usually sent into the kitchen or given to some poor family. Warmed-over dinners are not considered ‘nice’ by well-bred people.”

Mixtures Resented.

This is the tenant that has trickled down through countless generations to our young housewife. She is rather proud of telling how John detests “made dishes.”

“He will have none but plain, old-fashioned roast, boiled, broiled and fried. Of course, I have to calculate carefully with regard to quantities and I often tell him that enough hood food goes into the kitchen—and, I strongly suspect, into the swill pail—to keep a family of the size of ours. But no mixed foods for him, if you please! He says he wants to know what he is eating.”

May I digress to relate a personal grievance? She brought her John to my house last year for an unpremeditated week-end visit. I was so glad to see the charming young pair that I did not bethink me until the sermon was half over the next day that I had prepared a round of a la mode beef for luncheon. I trusted no cook to put up my a la modes. Besides the lardoons of fat pork that were white as snow by contrast with the rich hue of the beef when the carving knife did its fine work, there was spicy forcemeat filling for other incisions that went all the way through the noble “baron” of beef. It had not struck me that it could come under the condemnation of “made dishes” and “unholy mixtures” until, as I said, an evil spirit injected the idea between the fourthly and fifthly of an excellent discourse. Tumbling upon the heels of the suggestion hurried the recollection that the summer salad awaiting the mayonnaise in my refrigerator was a veritable “left-over.” It figured upon my mental menu as “Macedoine.” In fact, it was composed of the remnants of vegetables that had been cooked for two successive days, beans, corn, young beets and green peas. A tablespoonful of one and three tablespoonful of one and three tablespoonfuls of this, that and the other, deftly mingled and seasoned, then bedded upon crisp hearts of lettuce and mantled by mayonnaise, would be hailed joyfully by my household. How would visiting John take it?

To cut the story short, to the catastrophe. He didn’t take it at all! Nor more than a teaspoonful of the cup of tomato soup, the one hot dish in the midsummer Sunday luncheon. He seemed to divine that it was founded upon stewed tomato left from last night’s dinner. Yet it was strained, seasoned to a charm and made attractive to the eye by a tablespoonful of whipped cream on top of each cup. As for the beef, mottled beautifully as the thin slices were spread to view by the skillful carver, I had known that he would have none of it, before we left the church. At a whispered order from my anguished self, the waitress ferreted out a knobby bit of cold lamb from the icechest, and my guest made a meal upon this and a slice of cold bread. The dessert was homemade tutti-frutti ice cream and cake. The ice he evidently considered a mongrel and the cake was Neapolitan—variegated with brown, yellow and pink. Another “mix!”

This may be an extreme case of the hereditary distrust of “made dishes.” For the sake of the peace of mind of other housemothers and hostesses, I hope it is. There is no denying the truth that similar prejudices lurk in the minds of hundreds who should, by now, have learned that there are meaning and reason in the words that stand as our title.

A Divine Precept.

For 40-odd years it has been one of my aims in life to bring to the American housemother’s perceptions a belief in the dignity and the duty of economy. And the left-over is one, and an important, branch of the subject. Have you, sensible reader, ever paused to weigh what our Lord meant to teach when He bade the disciples (who had just witnessed the manifestation of His power to make amplest provision for the needs of the multitude). “Gather up the fragments, that nothing be lost?” That is, wasted. There were 12 baskets of “left-overs” that day. We may not doubt that they, too, went to feed the poor and hungry.

The same divine precept should be the rule of every kitchen. The combination of the fragments—often apparently incongruous-is the rest of culinary talent and skill.

One wish householder declares that his spouse achieves her most notable triumphs in the dishes evolved from “scraps.” He welcomes the appearance of a stuffed breast of veal, because he anticipates the next day’s scallop which is “an inspiration,” especially when the creamy sauce that holds it at the precise degree of soft deliciousness has a faint, exquisite flavor of oysters. If she has not saved the juice from the oysters used for frying a day or two ago, she has added a few cents to the cost of the scallop by buying half a pint from the fish merchant.

Boiled mutton is good at the first appearance when served with caper or egg sauce. The aforesaid canny husband foresees Scotch brother, which his soul loves, when enriched, as it is almost sure to be, by the addition of “peas, beans and barley-O,” odds and ends of celery, onions and minced parsley and, mayhap, a spoonful of oatmeal porridge left from breakfast.

If the mutton be a trifle rare, the left-overs will work up finely into curry. Save a cupful of the broth and put it over the fire. As it heats, stir in a great spoonful of strained apple sauce and a tablespoonful of curry powder. Cook one minute and add the meat, cut into inch cubes. After this goes in do not let the mixture boil. To stew cooked meat is, to make it insipid. Heat to scalding and serve. In another dish have pain rice so boiled that each grain stands by itself. In serving put a portion of rice upon the plate and pour the curry—meat and gravy—upon it. Send around ice-cold bananas with the curry. Each person takes one, strips off the skin and cuts the fruit as he wants it with a silver knife. It is a delicious accompaniment to curry. As East Indian introduced the novelty into my household 20 years ago, since when ice-cold bananas accompany curry as invariably as mint sauce is served with roast lamb.

Save the Bits.

Another way of using up the cold mutton is to cut it into rather thick slices, dip each in a “deviled” mixture of vinegar, French mustard, salt, pepper and a dash of sugar. Turn over the slices in the sauce several times, then in a rather thick batter, and fry as you would fritters. Drain off the fat and serve hit.

Never throw away a bit of fish. The fragments may be transformed into croquettes by the addition of mashed potato. Or, minced fine and blended with fine cracker crumbs, seasoned well and stirred into hot milk, slightly thickened and made savory by a great spoonful of butter, it develops into a toothsome bisque. A little chopped parsley improves it.

The outer and coarser stalks of celery should be scraped clean, cut into inch lengths and stewed in salted water, drained and served with a white sauce.

On parboil them: let them get very cold, dip into raw eggs, then into fine crumbs and fry quickly. They are a really elegant vegetable thus prepared.

Served on Lettuce.

Mixed salads are the best of their tribe to the educated palate. Cold potatoes, cut into neat bits of uniform size and seasoned with a good French dressing, should be put into a glass dish lined with lettuce leaves. Cover the surface deep with cold boiled beets, minced very fine, and you have a pretty as well as a palatable salad.

I could writer, as a prolific English novelist is reported to have said of herself, “h’on, and h’on, and h’on” indefinitely, without exhausting the capabilities of left-overs.

As “entrees” they take a distinguished place in menus for daily and company meals. It behooves our young housewife to experiment with them at will, if she would introduce variety into her bills of fare. She will find the pursuit fascinating if she has a real taste for fine cookery.

Marion Harland

OTHER ARTICLES ALSO PUBLISHED…
Family Meals for a Week
The Housemothers’ Exchange

Today in the Dauphin Herald – January 8, 1920

Fork River

Mr. and Mrs. Frank Bailey, of Bowsman, spent the holidays with Mr. and Mrs. S. Bailey.
Stanley King, of Togo, was home for Christmas dinner. It was a happy gathering of the King family on the old farm, with the four sons at home who had been at the war.
The Unity Christmas tree and concert was held in the Orange hall on the 22nd, was a decided success. The entertainment part of the program was in the hands of the teachers of the school districts of Mowat, Mossey River and Fork River, was a very well rendered and showed that the teachers were alive to the splendid talent in their several districts. Mr. Venables moved a vote of thanks and complimented the different committees on the success of their work. After lunch was served, the children enjoyed games, and later the older ones a dance.
The Grain Growers’ first annual ball will be held in the Orange Hall on Friday evening, Jan. 16th. This will be a masquerade but not necessarily a fancy dress one. Prizes will be given.
I have been informed that the next debate of the Literary Society will be “Horses vs. Tractors for Farm Work”, to be held on Wednesday, Jan. 17th. This should prove an interesting debate. The society is to be congratulated upon the success of their efforts.
The Women’s Institute held a meeting in the Orange Hall, Jan. 3rd, in conjunction with the Grain Growers’ to discuss the engagement of a district nurse or a doctor for the district. There was a fair attendance and after a speech by Dr. Medd, of Winnipegosis, it was decided to take the matter up with the council. A committee from each organization will be appointed for the purpose and we look for results in the near future.
The Grain Growers’ appointed T.B. Venables, Mrs. D.F. Wilson, Jr., and Duncan Briggs as delegates to the Grain Growers’ convention at Brandon. Their report will be given to the public on the night of the ball, Jan. 16th.
Rev. H.P. Barrett, of Dauphin, will hold service in All Saints’ Church on Jan. 11th, at 3 p.m.

The Waiterless Dinner Party

This is the first article in January of the School for Housewives 1910 series published on January 2, 1910, and touches on what a family can do during a dinner party when the are “servantless.”

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of the The Buffalo Sunday Morning News.

The Waiterless Dinner Party

MY ATTENTION has been drawn of late to the large number of what we are in the habit of calling “really nice” people who are servantless. I do not mean now those I have spoke of several times as “the half-way poor,” borrowing the phrase from a magazine article. Still less do I refer to “reduced” families who are compelled to retrench even painfully in the style of living to which they were accustomed in bygone days. There are settled all over prosperous and well-kept neighborhood families in easy circumstances that cannot command skilled domestic labor. Spacious and well-appointed dwellings in the fringe of handsome suburban towns are kept in perfect order, and the domestic machinery is run the year round with no “hired help.” The washing is put out or a laundress comes for a couple of das per week to get that part of the work out of the way. For the rest, mother and daughters are responsible. I know dozens of such homes. So smooth is the action of the machine of daily living that the deficiency in the matter of servants is hardly perceptible to the casual visitor. It is only when the refined women who have reduced housewifery to a fine art would receive friends in more ceremonious fashion than in the afternoon call and informal dropping in to tea or luncheon that there is a jar in the aforesaid machinery.

It irks me to accept invitations to luncheons and dinners when I cannot reciprocate the courtesy in kind,” said one frank-spoken matron to me. “And my girls feel it even more keenly. Let me tell you what nearly killed poor Eleanor last week. Mrs. Welmar, our German laundress, has proved so obliging and capable in her own line that my daughters were ready to believe that she could follow their directions n playing waitress at a small dinner party they felt constrained to give fore some southern visitors in the neighborhood. They are charming people, and my girls received much hospitality from them while they were in Charleston last winter.

“The good soul is not ill-looking, and she was ready to sport cap and apron, and to learn all the young ladies would teach her about the business of the table. They drilled her faithfully, and were satisfied with the result of the rehearsal.

“Well, the company assembled and were got to the table in good form. The first three courses were served and removed without misadventure. When Mrs. Weimar saw us fall to work upon the piece de resistance, she apparently counted upon a period of comparative inaction Whereupon she seated herself upon a chair in one corner of the dining room, keeping us well in sight in case she should be needed, and fanned herself beamingly with her apron.”

It was, as I agreed wit the narrator, very dreadful. We likewise agreed that it was convulsively funny—to an outsider.

“You see,” concluded my friend, “it was impossible to foresee the faux pas. Consequently, none of us had warned the pro tempore waitress not to sit down in a rocking chair and fan herself while smiling upon us and wiping her heated face. I don’t mind doing the housework. We three have systematized it until it is not burdensome. You would be amazed to see how much spare time we have. The wonder grows how hirelings contrive to be always busy over what we get out of the way in one-tenth of the time they devote to it. I do mind having no waitress or butler. It is the one drawback to suburban life.”

Without Apology.

Yet I visit households where visitors are freely entertained at dinners and afternoon teas and luncheons. With gay insouciance (I would not use the French word if we had a synonym in English) the situation is explained in a few words to the guests. After that no apologies are made. The business of the meal goes on without comment upon the fact that one of the young ladies of the family rises from the table and glides quietly around the board, making the necessary changes in far less time than a trained hireling would do the same. Talk flows more freely for the absence of an alien element, and while not one jet or tittle of gracious ceremony is omitted, there is a pervasive tone of “jolly,” good fellowship which is wanting from the conventional repast.

I have said that my mind has been drawn to this subject much of late. Thought is concentrated upon it today by the receipt of a letter which may be taken as the spinal cord of my Talk.

Like many of our most suggestive communications, it comes from California:

“My sister and myself have lived in a mining camp since we were children. Now that we are back in civilization we find ourselves woefully ignorant of many things we ought to know. We should like to entertain a few friends at dinner. Please tell us how to serve the meal as simply as possible, yet nicely.

“1. Should my sister and myself or our mother wait on the table?

“2. Where is the serving table placed and what is put on it?

“3. When is salad served, and may coffee be passed with the dinner?

“4. Are vegetables put into small individual dishes?

“5. Are butter knives used at all?

“6. Our father is not with us, so who should do the carving?

“All this may sound very childish, but it means much to us. Maybe it will help others who know no more than we do.”

Two California Girls.

And there are hundreds of others. I am thinking of them as well as of you while I try to answer your frank queries.

1. Unless you have a regular waitress or a maid-of-all work who can change courses and pass dishes it would be well for one of your girls to perform this office. Not your mother! She should not rise from the table during the meal. At the conclusion of each course one of the daughters should rise quietly and remove the plates and the dishes from the table. Do not pile them upon one another. Have near at hand a large tray covered with a napkin to which you transfer the plates as you remove them. When all are upon it, lift the tray and carry it into the kitchen. Bring back the next course upon the same tray. Set it upon the side table and take the plates in order from it, setting them before the guests. A little practice and presence of mind will enable you to do this quietly and swiftly without breaking in upon the conversation or attracting attention to yourself. Perhaps it wold be well for the sisters to take turns in the task. If both leave the table at once it will disturb the orderly course of the meal.

2. The service table is at a convenient distance from the kitchen and from the dining table. Upon it are arranged dishes that do not need to be served hot, such as plates of bread and cakes, fruit plates, cruets of vinegar and oil, salad plates and finger bowls, each set upon a doily upon a dessert plate and half filled with water.

The use of the large tray obviates the necessity for other use of the service table.

3. The salad comes between the meat and the sweets. Keep it upon the ice or in a cold place until you have set the plates for it upon the table, one before each eater, and the crackers and cheese in place.

4. The distinctively American practice of serving vegetables in what an amused foreigner called “bird baths” has (happily) been discontinued, except in fourth-class boarding houses and back-country hotels. Since you have no waitress, do not affect the style of those whose daily dinners are served “a la Russe,” from the service table and kitchen. Set the dish or meat (the piece de resistance) at the foot of the table, where it will be serve by yourself or your sister, your mother having the head of the board. Set the dishes of vegetables also upon the table, as was done by your grandmother, and twenty-five years later in thousands of homes. Set before your mother the other dishes where she can reach them easily. Thackeray maintained to the end of his days that the fashion of setting all the dishes of a course upon the cloth at once was far more comfortable than the present custom. He said that his meat got cold before he could be helped to a potato, and he had reason and common sense on his side.

5. Butter knives are laid upon the bread-and-butter plates set at the left of the larger plate. I may observe here that capricious fashion frowns upon the introduction of the butter pat or ball into the dinner menu. It is contended that well-seasoned dishes require no addition of condiment or “savory.” All the same, have your butter plates. Lay upon each a slice of bread and a bit of butter beside the butter knife.

6. By all means carve the meat in the kitchen before the meat is served. If it be lamb or beef or other piece of “butcher’s meat,” slice neatly and lay the slices back in place, keeping the original form of the roast. Do the like with poultry, putting the dismembered sections into comely shape. This plan saves time and trouble in serving.

May I add some hints as to the arrangement of the table?

The Nice Touches.

Your cloth should be the prettiest you have in damask and glossy from the iron. If you have tasteful centerpieces, embroidered or in drawnwork, select the daintiest for the middle of the table. Upon it should stand a low bowl or vase of cut flowers, or a pot containing a growing plant. If the pot be a plain crockery, cover with crimped tissue paper bound into place with ribbons. If you have a single bud and leaf laid beside each plate, with a pin thrust into the stem by which the boutonniere may be pinned upon the front of the woman’s gown or fastened in a man’s buttonhole, you introduce an added touch of graceful welcome. Set dainty dishes of bonbons and salted nuts within reach of all. Also celery and salt and pepper. A folded napkin lies upon what is known as “the service plate,” unless this be occupied by an “appetizer,” such as grapefruit, raw oysters, oyster cocktails or the like, in which case it is laid at the right of the plate. Between it and the plate are arranged the knives that will be required for the different courses, the first to be used lying furthest on the right. The left of the service plate is flanked by the forks arranged in like order. The soupspoon lies at the back of the plate. If the dessert is to be eaten with spoons, one is placed beyond the soupspoon. A glass of water is at the right hand. It is well to have carafes or pitches of iced water on the table when there is no water to replenish glasses from the sideboard. Make it the business of one of the amateur waitresses (Query: May they be styled “footwomen”?) to watch the glasses and fill them quietly without remark. A plate of reserved bread should also be at hand.

Small cups of black coffee follow the guests to the drawing room. Sugar goes in with them. Never cream! It is a gastronomic solecism to cream a demitasse of black coffee. Its specific work is to assist digestion. If clogged with cream it loses its effect.

I have outlined the order of a simple meal that may be made elegant by the exercise of just taste, thorough breeding and fact.

A popular and deplorable error is to confound simplicity and rudeness—rudeness in the sense of primitive methods and homely accessories.

Some one has said that it is a woman’s duty always and everywhere to look her prettiest. There are refining influences in making the everyday life, from which we cannot escape as comely as we can with the materials nearest our hands. All summer long I encourage my servants to keep flowers upon the kitchen table. I fancy that they are more punctilious in the matter of clean tablecloths for the habit. A tumbled or a spotted cloth is shamed by the fresh blossoms.

To sum up our argument: Elegance is not contingent upon wealth and is never allied to pretension.

“To thine own self be true.”

Marion Harland

OTHER ARTICLES ALSO PUBLISHED…
Family Meals for a Week
The Housemothers’ Exchange

The Child and Its Christmas Effort

This is the second article in December of the School for Housewives 1909 series published on December 12, 1909, and is a continuation of Marion’s talk on gift giving.

In this article, it is Marion’s advice that mothers should have young children learn of self-sacrifice and giving by saving money and making home-made gifts.

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of the The Buffalo Sunday Morning News.

The Child and Its Christmas Effort

HOW much share in Christmas have the children of today? How much are they taught to feel the true spirit of Christmas?

Consider average children, and what does Christmas mean to them? A time of holidays from school, of gay shop windows, of many gifts, of much good eating. Does it stand for much more?

We defraud our children when we give them only so much of Christmas as this. If we have never before taught them the true meaning of the most blessed holiday of the year, let us do it now. There is more in the season even than the manger and the star, the child and the shepherds. Give these to the children, but give them also the idea of the lesson that Christmas brings a self-sacrifice for others; help them to feel that the only gift worth giving is that which counts for something to the giver.

I think that as a rule children are generous, unless they have been taught to be calculating. Cultivate such generosity; and, for the love of mercy, never encourage in them that spirit of “give and take,” of keeping a debt and credit account on Christmas presents which has done so much to poison the season for older people.

As soon as the child is old enough to understand giving at all, make the gift something coming from him or her personally. The childish efforts will be weak, the childish results will be poor, but that makes little difference so long as the loving, generous spirit lies back of the gift. The book-mark worked in straggling cross stitch by baby fingers means as much to the father or mother as anything a hundred times its value could signify. If ever there is an opportunity in which will counts more highly than achievement, it is in the gifts which children make to their nearest and dearest.

As the children grow older do not abandon this line of teaching. Instruct them to make their gifts costs them something; to begin long before the holiday season to hoard their pennies; encourage them to stop the little indulgences dear to their small souls (and bodies), such as purchases of candy and peanuts and popcorn with their spending money, for the sake of laying it aside for Christmas gifts. The self-denial will do them good in more ways than one. It will teach them to give up their own pleasure for the sake of others; to make the prospective pleasure of those they love dearer to them than their own immediate enjoyment.

Let me say a word here relative to the benefit of giving allowances of spending money to children from the time they are old enough to have money to spend at all. It not only teaches them the use of money and imparts a beginning of a sense of responsibility in financial affairs, but it does more by providing them a chance to forego personal indulgence for the sake of giving to others. If from their tiny allowances they are encouraged to save for charity and for birthday and Christmas gifts, they have gained a lesson that no preaching and teaching in later years could so thoroughly implant.

Not that the best gifts are those which are procured simply by paying out money for them. Make the children understand that, and help them to make their gifts with their own hands. The way to do this has always been more or less easy for girls, who could sew and embroider and knit and crochet presents for those they loved. Of late the path has been opened for boys as well, and the manual training bestowed in our schools has been of benefit to them. By the aid of tools and pyrographic outfits and jigsaws they are able to do their share in making their Christmas gifts with their own hands.

A Guiding Hand.

I should be doing my subject little justice if I did not say that these instruments to which I have referred had also done their part toward the manufacture of some fearful and wonderful objects with which the living rooms and bedrooms of some of us are cumbered. The unassisted and unadvised child is likely to perpetrate grievous things if not aided by counsel. Apparently, the majority are born with little discrimination between good and evil so are as the works of their hands are concerned, and offer plaques and panels for alleged “decoration” with as much confidence of approval as an artist would feel in presenting a painting of his own doing.

Therefore let us guide our children when we may. There is no reason why their gifts should not be of value beyond that given them by love. Among my cherished possessions are a carved box for hairpins; another, much smaller, for collar buttons and similar trifles; a glove box and handkerchief box adored with pyrogravure; a footstool, and a hanger for my roller towel—all the work of boyish love. They might so easily have been useless horrors that I am filled with thankfulness whenever I think of them.

Encourage your children to make gifts which will really supply long-felt needs. Teach them that it is a very poor gift which is made without consideration of the wants of the person to whom it goes. To buy or to make at random is the least gracious way of manufacturing a present for any one.

The small girl will be helped by such instruction. They will probably display a tendency to buy and make certain fluffy, useless articles which commend themselves to the feminine mind in its immature stages, and sometimes later on. Guide them in their work. Teach them that it is better to make a wash cloth, or pad for a bureau drawer, or a shoe bag, or a needle book, or something equally simple, which is of practical value to the person who receives it than to break forth into all sorts of ambitious impossibilities in the line of decoration—so-called.

Never can I forget one Christmas when I received a bag of belting cloth with a filling of thistledown and a decoration of flowers in water colors, a construction of silk and chenille and cardboard to hang from the chandelier, a china plaque with a Gibson girl on it, six calendars and seven sachets. The only redeeming feature about the gifts was that love probably prompted the sending. That was the only thing they represented besides money. Not a bit of thought had gone to the selection, no planning as to what would meet my taste and my needs.

Don’t let your boys and girls grow up in that way. Let them consider as much a part of the Christmas gift as the money which goes into it a study of the preferences of the person to whom it is sent. They would not give a workbag to their grandfather, or a pipe to their aunt, but, unassisted, they would doubtless make just as absurd presents to other members of the family or to friends. Guide them in the selection until they are old enough to judge for themselves. Don’t turn the children loose to do their own shopping, but find time, no matter how busy you may be, to go out with them on their expeditions to the stores and help them learn how to buy. Don’t put this off until the last moment either, but undertake it as long ahead of time as you can.

Bear in mind always that the children ought to have a share in “making Christmas” in the household beyond the giving of presents. Entrust them with a certain amount of responsibility as soon as they are old enough to take it. Confide to them part of the preparations. It may be that to them you will delegate the collection and hanging of the greens, the decoration of the table, the preparation of the candies which are to go into stockings and fancy boxes; the painting or lettering of the cards which are to mark the place at the Christmas dinner; the putting up the parcels which are to go out of the house. If you do not, at the moment, think of something to confide to their care, study it up until you have found something. There should be no drones in the house in the midst of the Christmas preparations. While the children are still young make them understand the solidarity of the family, and that they have their own important part in helping t make the Christmas joy.

Marion Harland

OTHER ARTICLES ALSO PUBLISHED…
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